The Meyer-Kaiser lab, summer 2022:
Kimberly, Kharis, Kirstin, and Kraken
If I had to describe Kimberly in one word, it would be "persistent." Her determination to meet a goal honestly blows my mind. When I said something along those lines to Kimberly's mom today, she got this knowing look in her eyes that only mothers have and nodded, "Yep, that's who Kimberly is." 

Kimberly joined my lab this summer through WHOI's internship program, and what a summer it has been. Her project was to analyze images from the Arctic seafloor and track changes in the invertebrate community over time. The project should have been straightforward - count some animals, do some statistics, learn about the Arctic. Or so I thought. 

When a medical event forced Kimberly off campus, I honestly thought she would not come back. I even moved her research from my list of "projects underway" back to "future projects" on the whiteboard in my office. But Kimberly persisted. She worked on her data remotely until she could return to WHOI, then kept up with her work while navigating a new normal. I still don't understand how she pulled it off. 

It has been such a pleasure to work with Kimberly, and her project turned out great. By tracking long-term changes in the Arctic deep sea, she showed that food supply directly influences the populations of suspension feeders and deposit feeders, but predator/scavenger populations are much slower to respond. Her data analysis extended a time series started by my German collaborators 20 years ago (I analyzed the first few years when I lived in Bremerhaven), and it was really exciting to see the long-term trends. 

We celebrated with cake on Kimberly's last day in the lab today, but her WHOI experience is far from over. She got permission from her home university to continue her project with me and turn it into her Honors thesis. Over the next two semesters, Kimberly will analyze more years' worth of data and paint a more complete picture of changes in Arctic communities. I'm very excited that we get to keep working together. 

Congratulations on a great summer, Kimberly!